The World Speaks!

Consider the paragraph below by Steve Talbot alongside: John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. and Psalm 19:1-3: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

The intimate relation between the meaning of our words and the meaning we find in the world may be so obvious as to seem almost trivial, yet its implications are so profound as to have mostly escaped the notice of working scientists. If we took the fact of the world’s speech seriously — the world speaks! — there would be none of the usual talk about a mechanistic and deterministic science, about a cold, soulless universe, or about an unavoidable conflict between science and the spirit. Confronting the many voices of nature, we would inquire about their individual qualities and character, we would look for the direction of their expressive striving, and we would struggle to grasp the aesthetic unity of their various utterances — all of which is to say: we would listen for their meanings. The necessity for such inquiry is implicit in a world that speaks and also in the scientist’s employment of speech to translate the world-text. This turning a deaf ear to a resonant world and even to our own speech accounts for many of the limitations and contradictions of the science we have today.

~ Steve Talbot, “The Language of Nature” in The New Atlantis (Winter 2007), 42.

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